Sunrun vs SolarCity

Jordan Grimmer
Jordan Grimmer | Senior Editor
Sunrun and SolarCity are two of the largest, most recognizable companies in the solar industry. Both of these solar giants have been in business for more than a decade and have helped hundreds of thousands of customers switch to solar. While Sunrun and SolarCity are somewhat similar in terms of what they offer, there are a few important differences to note.
 
Sunrun logo verified_user
#11 Sunrun
7.9 Overall Score
3.5
star star star star_half star_border
(1,654)
SolarCity logo
#94 SolarCity
4.2 Overall Score
2.6
star star star_half star_border star_border
(704)

Overview

Sunrun

Panels from

Canadian Solar

Inverters from

SolarEdge

Batteries from

N/A

Workmanship Warranty

20 Years

Equipment Warranty

25 Years

NABCEP Certified

N/A

Purchasing Options Offered

N/A

Time in Business

Undisclosed

SolarCity

SolarCity

SolarCity

N/A

10 Years

20 Years

N/A

N/A

Undisclosed

Ratings

Sunrun

Overall Score
7.9 of 10
Review Score
3.5
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Value for Money
3.4
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Quality of Product or Service
3.6
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Company Trustworthiness
3.4
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Likely to Recommend
6.3 of 10

SolarCity

4.2 of 10
2.6
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2.3
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2.2
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2.0
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2.4 of 10

Reviews

Sunrun

Number of Reviews
1,654
Review Breakdown
3.5
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5 star
45%
4 star
16%
3 star
7%
2 star
6%
1 star
25%

SolarCity

704
2.6
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5 star
30%
4 star
10%
3 star
3%
2 star
8%
1 star
50%

Reviews for Sunrun

Helpful Favorable Review

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Review Source

star star star star star

Kenneth Coleman Raynham, MA

The installers were on point, they didn’t waste their time and did a wonderful job setting up the solar panels. They all worked like a well oiled machine, which shows that they are good at their job and enjoy doing it. I am very excited and happy I decided to get the solar panels, and with a team like your installers and your service rep John P. You can’t go wrong with saving the environment with Sun Run. Very happy customers, Ken and Stephanie C Brockton Ma

3 months ago

Helpful Critical Review

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JB Friehammer

Run from SunRun!!! Horrible customer service! Falsifying information on their sales contract with my elderly parents. Multiple mistakes during install. Finally got it running and then it stopped for weeks. Now we have a giant true up bill. Filed a complaint with customer service and after 7 weeks and copious calls and emails we get an email response saying they closed our case without ever having spoken to the person "in charge" of resolving our dispute. Do not do business with these people.

1 week ago

Reviews for SolarCity

Helpful Favorable Review

star star star star star_border

Sawyer D Ogden, UT

Thanks for allowing a system size under 3 KW. I was told you wouldn't for a loan, but for cash, you did. Haven't had any technical issues. I'm afraid if I did, I'd be on my own or face long long hold times. Also, your offer of move the panels for $2000 is too good to be true. They should have insisted on attic run for conduit. Very nice crew, they did offer some special install services, but attic run should have been seriously impressed on me.

2 years ago

Helpful Critical Review

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Brad Moreno Valley, CA

Solar city installed solar panels. now Tesla bought them out. Have been trying to get in touch with Tesla for about a year but have had no success. Solar city monitored the system but Tesla will not. The monitor has not worked for a year

2 weeks ago

The Final Word

Availability
Sunrun and SolarCity both provide solar services in Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Maryland, Massachusetts, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Texas, Utah, Vermont, and Washington D.C. Sunrun also operates in Florida, South Carolina, Wisconsin, and Puerto Rico, while SolarCity does not. However, SolarCity offers service in Oregon and Washington, while Sunrun does not.

Payment Options
Both Sunrun and SolarCity offer a variety of ways for customers to get a solar energy system on their roof, including outright purchases, loans, leases, and power purchase agreements (PPAs). Sunrun has a bit of an edge in terms of solar leasing and PPA agreements, as the company pioneered those options and made them a large part of its business model today.

Equipment
Sunrun utilizes high-quality equipment from reputable manufacturers such as Canadian Solar and SolarEdge for its projects, while SolarCity manufactures its own solar equipment, including Tesla’s Solar Roof product, which is a unique option within the industry.

Installations
While Sunrun performs most of its solar installations with its own crews, the company will occasionally outsource installations on remote homes to third parties, which may lead to variance in workmanship quality and overall experience. SolarCity, on the other hand, does not outsource any of its installations, but some customers have reported problems with delayed and incorrect installations.

Warranties
With up to a 25-year equipment warranty and a 20-year workmanship warranty, Sunrun offers lengthier product and labor coverage than SolarCity, which provides a 20-year equipment warranty and a 10-year workmanship warranty.

Battery Storage
Both Sunrun and SolarCity offer battery storage options. Sunrun’s battery storage option is called Brightbox, and it can be purchased or leased. SolarCity provides Tesla Powerwall batteries, which are compact and made to seamlessly integrate with other SolarCity equipment, but must be purchased; there is no lease option.

Referral Program
Sunrun and SolarCity both offer a referral program. Sunrun pays customers $350 for each friend they refer to the company, while SolarCity offers a $250 referral payout.

Recommendation
Sunrun and SolarCity offer similar payment options and battery storage selection. Sunrun has a bigger service area than SolarCity, offers longer equipment and workmanship warranties, and provides a larger referral bonus. For these reasons, Sunrun is recommended over SolarCity for individuals who live within the company’s operational area.

Top Choice

Sunrun Logo
Sunrun

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